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How Many Americans Are Currently Unemployed

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Solutions For Creating More Us Jobs

If companies are raising salaries, why are there so many unemployed Americans?

A variety of options for creating jobs exist, but these are strongly debated and often have tradeoffs in terms of additional government debt, adverse environmental impact, and impact on corporate profitability. Examples include infrastructure investment, tax reform, healthcare cost reduction, energy policy and carbon price certainty, reducing the cost to hire employees, education and training, deregulation, and trade policy. Authors Bittle & Johnson of Public agenda explained the pros and cons of 14 job creation arguments frequently discussed, several of which are summarized below by topic. These are hotly debated by experts from across the political spectrum.

How Many People Are Unemployed Now

The most recent unemployment rate – for January to March, when most of the restrictions were still in place – was 4.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics .

The that means about one in 20 people who want a job can’t find one.

That’s more than at the start of the pandemic.

However, despite lockdown, the unemployment rate has fallen slightly since the autumn.

This has surprised most economists, who were expecting unemployment to be much higher.

It is partly because businesses have become better at coping with lockdowns, as well as the government spending billions of pounds supporting jobs.

Barriers Stand In The Way Of The Unemployed Heading Back To Work

For thosewho say they are notactively looking for work,over a quarter cite concerns about COVID-19, 28% say they have been ill and their health hastakenpriority over work, 26% say their industry is still suffering from the effects of the pandemic and there are not enough jobs available, and 24% say they need to be home to care for others.

Women were especially likely to say that staying home to care for others is a barrier .

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched America Works, a nationwide initiative mobilizing industry and government to swiftly address Americas deepening worker shortage crisis. Discover workforce solutions, find additional research and analysis, and explore the full America Works policy agenda at

The poll of 529 Americans who lost jobs during the pandemic and have not returned to full-time employment was taken November 2-9, 2021. The poll has an overall survey margin of error +/-4.3% at the 95% confidence level, with Stable and Projectable bases quotated across age, prior total compensation, ethnicity, incidence of children at home, industry sector and educational attainment. For this wave of research, respondents over the age of 65 were excluded from the study.

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How To Implement This Strategy Amid Covid

An obvious limitation of any form of coaching-based support, of course, is that it does not change the underlying structural roots of long-term unemployment. Addressing biases and stigmas in the hiring process requires solutions at governmental and organizational levels, too. And because my research focused on white-collar workers, more research needs to be done to understand the experiences of other kinds of workers as well.

Nevertheless, the interviews suggest that sociological coaching helped LTU jobseekers in their job search and in their well-being, even though not all found new positions. This leads me to believe that sociologically-informed support programs are vital for the well-being of people who are out of work for long periods of time as may be the case over the next several years.

LTU jobseekers in particular should look for organizations that provide support, whether in a church, a non-profit organization, or a state career center, and make sure that the support is not only focused on how to write resumes or network but is wholistic in its approach and recognizes the varied effects of LTU on individuals.

Comparison Of Employment Recovery Across Recessions And Financial Crises


One method of analyzing the impact of recessions on employment is to measure the period of time it takes to return to the pre-recession employment peak. By this measure, the 20082009 recession was considerably worse than the five other U.S. recessions from 1970 to present. By May 2013, U.S. employment had reached 98% of its pre-recession peak after approximately 60 months. Employment recovery following a combined recession and financial crisis tends to be much longer than a typical recession. For example, it took Norway 8.5 years to return to its pre-recession peak employment after its 1987 financial crisis and it took Sweden 17.8 years after its 1991 financial crisis. The U.S. is recovering considerably faster than either of these countries.

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President’s Council On Jobs And Competitiveness

President Obama established the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in 2009. The Council released an interim report with a series of recommendations in October 2011. The report included five major initiatives to increase employment while improving competitiveness:

  • Measures to accelerate investment into job-rich projects in infrastructure and energy development
  • A comprehensive drive to ignite entrepreneurship and accelerate the number and scale of young, small businesses and high-growth firms that produce an outsized share of America’s new jobs
  • A national investment initiative to boost jobs-creating inward investment in the United States, both from global firms headquartered elsewhere and from multinational corporations headquartered here
  • Ideas to simplify regulatory review and streamline project approvals to accelerate jobs and growth and,
  • Steps to ensure America has the talent in place to fill existing job openings as well as to boost future job creation.
  • How High Could Unemployment Go

    Most economists expect the unemployment rate to rise a little later this year even though it is hoped more restrictions can be lifted.

    That is because many government support schemes – such as furlough – are due to end after September.

    The Bank of England expects the unemployment rate to reach around 5.5% in the autumn.

    However, the number of unemployed is expected to fall next year as the economy continues to recover.

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    Effect Of Disability Recipients On Labor Force Participation Measures

    The number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits increased from 7.1 million in December 2007 to 8.7 million in April 2012, a 22% increase. Recipients are excluded from the labor force. Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley estimated this explained as much as 0.5 of the 2.0 percentage point decline in the U.S. labor-force participation rate during the period.

    There Are More People Getting Unemployment Benefits Than There Are Unemployed Workers

    26 million Americans now unemployed from COVID-19
    • The share of people getting jobless benefits in May exceeded the share of unemployed workers for the first time in history.
    • Some economists said the dynamic was puzzling.
    • It makes sense given the federal expansion of unemployment benefits and how certain unemployment metrics are calculated.

    Amid the recent good news about stronger-than-expected job growth in May, some economists have eyed one labor statistic with a sense of bewilderment.

    Specifically, the share of people getting jobless benefits last month exceeded the share of unemployed workers.

    On its face, that may seem impossible how could there be more people collecting unemployment than there are actual unemployed people?

    That had never previously occurred since the government began collecting data on the “insured unemployment rate” in the early 1970s.

    Economists took to Twitter to express confusion over the anomaly after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its most recent jobs report on June 5.

    Jay Shambaugh, an economist at the Brookings Institution, called it “puzzling.”

    But the situation makes sense when accounting for an expansion of unemployment benefits provided by federal relief legislation and differences in how the statistics are determined, according to experts.

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    The United States Has Not Had Reliable Data During The Pandemic To Answer A Very Basic Question: How Many Americans Are Out Of Work

    The United States currently has a lot of people out of work even more than during the worst point of the Great Recession. But exactly how many people are unemployed right now is a surprisingly tricky question to answer. And some economists think the official count is far too low.

    The official number of unemployed Americans is 10.1 million, according to the Labor Department. That statistic comes from the monthly jobs report that the Labor Department puts out the first Friday of each month, which shows the official unemployment rate at the moment is 6.3 percent.

    But theres another government data source that indicates a much higher number of unemployed. Every Thursday, the Labor Department reports how many people are receiving jobless aid from the government. The latest data indicates 18.3 million people were receiving weekly unemployment payments through Jan. 30. That figure fluctuates a bit week to week, but it has hovered closeto 20 million for the past few months. Top White House officials often cite this number when they talk about the economic pain the country is still facing and make the case for another round of aid, including more stimulus payments to individuals.

    A03 Sa: Employment Unemployment And Economic Inactivity For Men Aged From 16 To 64 And Women Aged From 16 To 59

    Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for men aged from 16 to 64 and women aged from 16 to 59 . The employment and inactivity rates shown in this table were the headline employment and inactivity rates until August 2010, when ONS replaced these headline rates with rates for those aged from 16 to 64 for both men and women. These new headline rates for those aged from 16 to 64 are shown in Table A02 SA. These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.

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    Global Employment: What Is The World Employment Rate

    We have a new measure of global employment from the International Labour Organization . Late last night the ILO published their Global Employment Trends 2011.

    The report shows that as the population of the world approaches 7 billion people, 3 billion are employed and 205 million are unemployed.

    Before we jump to any conclusions about these base figures, let’s take a quick look at how the data was gathered and the error bounds given, then we will take a look at what the figures mean.

    The Power Of Sociologically

    Unemployment insurance doesnt cover rent in most cities ...

    If hiring practices and networking can do more harm than good, what might help?

    To explore this question, I collaborated with a group of career coaches and counselors who agreed to provide free support to LTU jobseekers under the umbrella of a non-profit organization called the Institute for Career Transitions . The support provided by the ICT departs from traditional forms of support for unemployed workers in two important ways.

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    Nearly Half Of Us Adults With Lower Incomes Have Had Trouble Paying Their Bills Since The Start Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

    A quarter of U.S. adults say they have had trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus outbreak began. Smaller shares of U.S. adults say they have had problems paying their rent or mortgage or affording medical care for themselves or their families . Still fewer say they lost their health insurance .

    Among adults with lower incomes, 46% say they have had trouble paying their bills, and about a third have had problems paying their rent or mortgage since February significantly higher than the share of middle- and upper-income adults who have faced these struggles. This income pattern holds when looking at the shares saying they had trouble paying for medical care or lost their health insurance.

    Among other key demographic groups, women, adults under age 30, Black and Hispanic adults, and those who have not obtained a college degree are among the most likely to say they have had trouble paying bills, their rent or mortgage, or for medical care. These groups have been especially impacted by higher unemployment rates during the coronavirus recession.

    Persons With Multiple Jobs

    The BLS reported that in 2017, there were approximately 7.5 million persons age 16 and over working multiple jobs, about 4.9% of the population. This was relatively unchanged from 2016. About 4 million worked a full-time primary job and part-time secondary job. A 2020 study based on a Census Bureau survey estimated a higher share of multiple jobholders, with 7.8% of persons in the U.S. working multiple jobs as of 2018 the study found that this percentage has been trending upward during the past twenty years and that earnings from second jobs are, on average, 27.8% of a multiple jobholder’s earnings.

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    About The Prison Policy Initiative

    The non-profit, non-partisan Prison Policy Initiative was founded in 2001 to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization and spark advocacy campaigns to create a more just society. The organization is known for its visual breakdown of mass incarceration in the U.S., as well as its data-rich analyses of how states vary in their use of punishment. The Prison Policy Initiatives research is designed to reshape debates around mass incarceration by offering the big picture view of critical policy issues, such as probation and parole, womens incarceration, and youth confinement.

    The Prison Policy Initiative also works to shed light on the economic hardships faced by justice-involved people and their families, often exacerbated by correctional policies and practice. Past reports have shown that people in prison and people held pretrial in jail start out with lower incomes even before arrest, earn very low wages working in prison, yet are charged exorbitant fees for phone calls, electronic messages, and “release cards” when they get out.

    Difficulty Covering Household Expenses

    10 percent of US workforce now unemployed

    Since late August 2020, the Household Pulse Survey has provided data on the number of adults struggling to cover usual household expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, car payments, medical expenses, or student loans. Some 63 million adults 29 percent of all adults in the country reported it was somewhat or very difficult for their household to cover usual expenses in the past seven days, according to data collected September 29October 11.

    The share of adults reporting difficulty covering usual expenses rose through the fall of 2020, reaching a peak of 38 percent in mid-December. This likely reflected, in part, weaknesses of the relief packages enacted in the spring of 2020, including increased jobless benefits that expired over the summer, stimulus payments whose impact faded later in the year, and inadequate nutrition and housing assistance.

    In early 2021, the share of adults with trouble covering expenses stabilized as aid from the end-of-year relief package including renewed jobless benefits and another round of stimulus payments reached households.

    Following the enactment of the American Rescue Plan on March 11, and as the economy added jobs, the share of adults who had trouble covering usual expenses fell dramatically. The share ticked upward in May, likely due to the fading impact of the third round of stimulus payments, but it has remained statistically unchanged in recent months.

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    What Job Creation Rate Is Required To Lower The Unemployment Rate


    Estimates vary for the number of jobs that must be created to absorb the inflow of persons into the labor force, to maintain a given rate of unemployment. This number is significantly affected by demographics and population growth. For example, economist Laura D’Andrea Tyson estimated this figure at 125,000 jobs per month during 2011.

    Economist Paul Krugman estimated it around 90,000 during 2012, mentioning also it used to be higher. One method of calculating this figure follows, using data as of September 2012: U.S. population 314,484,000 x 0.90% annual population growth x 63% of population is working age x 63% work force participation rate / 12 months per year = 93,614 jobs/month. This approximates the Krugman figure.

    Federal Reserve analysts estimated this figure around 80,000 in June 2013: “According to our analysis, job growth of more than about 80,000 jobs per month would put downward pressure on the unemployment rate, down significantly from 150,000 to 200,000 during the 1980s and 1990s. We expect this trend to fall to around 35,000 jobs per month from 2016 through theremainder of the decade.”

    Empirical data

    During the 41 months from January 2010 to May 2013, there were 19 months where the unemployment rate declined. On average, 179,000 jobs were created in those months. The median job creation during those months was 166,000.

    How Does The Minimum Wage Vary Across States

    As of January 1, 2021, there were five states without minimum wage laws, two states with minimum wages below the federal minimum, 14 states with minimum wages at the federal level, and 29 states, plus Washington, DC, with minimum wages above the federal level, according to theDepartment of Labor. This is a significant change from 1980, when only two states, plus Washington, DC, had minimum wages above the federal level.

    State minimum wages in 2021 range from $5.15 per hour in Georgia and Wyoming to $15 per hour in Washington, DC.

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    Understanding Why Ltu Occurs

    Whereas traditional jobseeker support begins and ends with strategies , the ICT begins with a sociological explanation of the structural nature of the obstacles LTU jobseekers face. To counter the tendency to internalize stigma and self-blame, sociologically-informed support avoids messages that might exaggerate the role of individual jobseeker strategies in shaping job search outcomes. For example, at various ICT support gatherings, I directly discussed the sobering research findings I described above.

    This kind of sociological coaching focuses on clarifying the institutional landscape and thus the context of LTU jobseekers personal experience. To most jobseekers, hiring institutions are a black box opening up this box serves a dual purpose of de-personalizing employer rejections, thus lessening self-blame and internalized stigma, and of pointing to possible strategies. This helps people understand their labor market experiences in a less personalized way, which lessens the emotional fallout of unemployment and helps maintain resilience for continued searching.

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